Malayalam film and theatre are vibrant and dynamic, show the international film and theatre festivals just held in Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur respectively in December 2010. The passing year points towards a hopeful future for our art and struggles.
These festivals that showcase our contemporary cultural productions, represented the live and invaluable expressions of Malayalam artistes and directors belonging to the younger generation in purticular. Films by Shyamaprasad, Dr Biju, Vipin Vijay etc. prove that cinema is entering a serious bold hybridity of creative enquiry and political sensitivity. With Electra and Chitrasutram Malayalam cinema intervenes in culture, politics and history in a whole new way.
In films like Vipin’s Chitrasutram our cinema delves into a queer new phase of subversive and critical exploration in both the cinematic medium and message. The young director uses the potentials of bizarre visuals and cyber sounds to express a serious critique of the world of cinema, representation and the world of his own linguistic culture.
The film is a radical response to cultural elitism and fascism that thrive in contemporary culture in Kerala. It is a creative response to chauvinism and cultural hegemony that are reproduced even in cyber culture in Malayalam. The surreal imagery and fragmented narrative attract the next generation viewers who are interested in the future of our small culture and society.
The plays staged at ITFoK also proved that Malayalam theatre is on par with any other threatrical culture today whether it is Chile or Japan. Sagarakanyaka an adaptation of Ibsen’s Lady from the Sea by Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre of Trivandrum, directed by Jyotish, featuring Reghuthaman and Parvathy on the lead roles proved to be a total trans-theatrical experience, exploring the polyphonic possibilities of the visual, sound, painting, sculpture, installation, digital art, body and much much more. The play is also vital for its powerful gender politics and voicing the feminist question.
The play performed by tribal artistes from Assam proved to be really performative and theatrically engaging. The plays from Latin America revealed the struggles and resistances of people in the third world against imperialisms of many kind in an exhilarating dramatic idiom of drama. The international festivals of film and theatre organized by the government academia with public fund prove to be meaningful and productive for the large scale participation and overwhelming cultural interest of the people.